Chapter in this post:
Today I was asked by my reader Jürgen whether he could delete his old iPhone and then set it up without an Apple ID so that he could give it to his granddaughter. In the installation wizard, an Apple ID is requested during setup, but of course he does not want to enter his own there. In this post I have summarized for you how you can set up without an ID, which disadvantages it (unfortunately) has and how you can possibly find a better solution to this problem.
Basically, you can answer the question with yes, because if you simply select “Skip” when asked about the Apple ID during the installation process, the iPhone will be set up without an Apple ID and will then also be functional - at least in general terms.
The big catch is that you can hardly use the iPhone in this state. If you want to install the first app from the app store, do you need something? Right - an account with an Apple ID.
In the end, you can use your iPhone to take photos or make a phone call without an Apple ID. The pre-installed apps such as compass, tape measure, calculator and the like can also be used. However, an Apple account is required for the Messages app, FaceTime and many other things.
So how useful an iPhone without an Apple ID is is a fair question.
It is much better and more practical in everyday life if you as an iPhone donor (in this case Jürgen) the Family sharing activated and add a child account. In this process, a free Apple ID is created for the child and this is entered when installing the iPhone that was given away. You can of course store any (also invented) data for the children's account. Only the email address has to be reachable.
This can all be set on the "parent iPhone" in the following way:
Settings → Apple ID (first point with the photo) → Family Sharing → Add Member
You can then use the "Screen time" item on the parent iPhone to specify exactly what the child is allowed to do on their iPhone. If you'd like to learn more about the Screen Time feature, I have two posts for you here:
You can also set times when the iPhone can be used and apps can be blocked or released. Furthermore, you can always see how much time the child has spent on the iPhone and which apps they have used for how long.
However, you cannot spy on what the child wrote in messages, email or WhatsApp - which I think is very good. If you want to do that, you should discuss it with your child and check the news in front of their eyes.
It is also advantageous that the child cannot do any chargeable things if you do not consciously release them.
As you can see, an iPhone with a child's account is the better alternative to an iPhone that was set up entirely without an Apple ID.
Jens has been running the blog since 2012. He appears as Sir Apfelot for his readers and helps them with problems of a technical nature. In his free time he drives electric unicycles, takes photos (preferably with his iPhone, of course), climbs around in the Hessian mountains or hikes with the family. His articles deal with Apple products, news from the world of drones or solutions for current bugs.